Love Under the Mistletoe
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by Deborah MacGillivray, Leanne Burroughs, Amy Blizzard
Description: Love Under the Mistletoe--6 stories of the holiday season sure to please. Deborah MacGillivray, Leanne Burroughs, Amy Blizzard, Gerri Bowen, Billie Warren Chai, Judith Leigh
eBook Publisher: Highland Press/A Wee Dram, 2008 2007
eBookwise Release Date: November 2009
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [359 KB]
Reading time: 219-307 min.
"All six stories are full of passion and wishes. My two favorites were A Very Special Man and A Chorus Singing Love. They are both magical. All the authors found a way to fit magic in perfectly. I definitely want to check out more books by these authors. I am sure things can only get better."--Krista, Coffee Time Romance
"Looking for a Christmas anthology that can infuse the holiday season into your life year round? LOVE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is one book that can fill that need."--Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
"LOVE UNDER THE MISTLETOE is a fun anthology that infuses the beauty of the season with fun characters and unforgettable situations. This is one of those books that you can read year round and still derive great pleasure from each of the charming stories. Miss the season of joy, the gift-giving wonder-time when magic seems real and you just know your dreams can come true? Can't wait until December to relive the magic? Never fear, this delightful collection of short stories with a Christmas theme will be just the thing to tide you through. Ranging in genres from contemporary through historical to paranormal, there is a hero for every girl in this anthology. The heroines are women we can identify with, dealing with everyday challenges--though also some extraordinary ones in some of the tales. They are well crafted and do a great job of delivering precisely what lovers of the Mills & Boon type books adore: a great love story that conforms to certain expectations, good reading even though you know precisely what's going to happen. The heat level is for the most part sensual only, but here and there are scenes which only just nudge the classification into spicy. Love Under the Mistletoe is an enjoyable read well worth your effort. Though there is a central Christmas theme, the stories are not syrupy, and can be enjoyed any time of the year. A job well done by all the authors."--Eglantine, Long and Short Reviews
"Hellfire, Stripper, I knew I shouldn't have left the bar to fetch supplies today." His eyes alert to danger, Hank Beaumont pushed his horse to catch up with the outlaws. Rounding a bend, he caught movement in a copse of trees and pulled tight on Stripper's reins, patting the animal on its neck to quiet him.
He dismounted, tethered his mount to a branch and quietly moved in. Exactly like the frightened woman at the abandoned stagecoach he'd met up with several miles back had reported, three men had robbed the coach, killed the men, then kidnapped a woman passenger. It wasn't difficult to figure out what they had in mind.
The man lowering his breeches would make an easy target, so Hank focused his attention on the other two. Ignoring the ill-matched odds, he drew both pistols and went in firing. He dropped one where he stood with a bullet to the thigh. A split second later the other drew his pistol and Hank shot the gun out of his hand. The man by the woman dropped to the ground, rolled with some difficulty since his pants were around his knees, yet managed to palm his gun. He reached for the woman, no doubt to use her as a shield, but she'd scooted too far away. Hank shot and the man fell back.
The man with the wounded leg hobbled to his horse as the other ran. Mounting their horses, they high-tailed it away, disappearing in a cloud of dust. Hank contemplated following them, but decided the young woman who'd seen men murdered and then been kidnapped needed him most. He holstered his guns.
As his eyes fell to her, his breath caught in his throat. Even terrified, she was beautiful. Long brown hair cascaded over her shoulders. It looked like she might've had it pinned up at some point since a few stray pins stuck out. But what captured his attention most--once his gaze lifted from staring at her breasts--was her soft, brown, terror-filled eyes. With her dust covered travel clothes disheveled and her hair mussed, she looked like a frightened kitten. An instinct he hadn't felt in a long time, possibly never, kicked in. He wanted to protect her. Not just shield her from the attackers, but keep her safe--from everything.
Where the blazes had that nonsense come from?
He stepped closer, grimacing as she edged away, fright clearly visible on her face. "Easy, ma'am. I'm not going to hurt you. I swear. The other passengers told me you'd been taken after those varmints robbed your stagecoach. They're still back at the coach waiting for me to fetch you." Never gifted with gab, he wasn't sure what to say to reach through her distress.
She stared at him as if she thought he would kill her.
"Name's Henry Morrison Beaumont, ma'am. Folks here-abouts call me Hank." Still nothing. "What's your name, ma'am?"
"J-Jessica ... Jessica Ashbury."
Ashbury? Hellfire, was this the wife of the man buying his saloon? Their arrival had been expected, why he'd hated leaving town, but the holidays would soon be upon them, and things would be too busy in town for him to go anywhere.
In one gentle movement he reached down and pulled her to her feet. "Easy, Miz Ashbury. I'll get you safely back to the stage. No one's gonna harm you, I swear."
When she started crying, Hank didn't hesitate. He enfolded her in his arms and held her until the sobs subsided. She had a lot to cry about, witnessing the murders of her husband and the stagecoach driver, then being kidnapped. Hank didn't have any trouble seeing why a man would die trying to protect this woman. What he didn't understand was why the damn fool was bringing her into such dangerous territory.
She felt soft against his chest. Too soft. She shouldn't be out West. From the looks of her fancy clothes, she was an Easterner through and through. A lady proper. She should have stayed there. As strange sensations unfurled, he wondered what it was about this woman that evoked feelings within him.
Feelings he'd buried his whole life.